Volume 50; Number 50 December 28, 2014
The love that God desires from us
God desires that a man believe in Him more than in anyone or anything else in the world. God desires that a man hope in Him more than in anyone or anything else in the world. More than this: God desires that a man, by his love, cleave solely to Him, and then he will, through the love that radiates from this, easily be one with God’s creation.
This is man’s unity with God. This is the soul’s marriage to Christ. Only such a union between the soul and Christ, that is most clearly mirrored for us in earthly marriage, can make the soul rich and fruitful.
The soul’s ardent love for God is alone its legal marriage. Every other love, not through God but apart from God or against God, is idolatry. Thus, by love for the body, a man makes the body a false god, an idol. This means that a man directs the love that belongs exclusively to God to something less than God, to something less worthy of love. Whatever a man believes in, hopes in or loves more than God takes God’s place and becomes an idol to that man, a false god to a false soul. The prophets called all such idolatry adultery and harlotry (Jeremiah 3: 1; Ezekiel 23:7).
A man is saved or lost by his love in this life. There is only one saving love, and that is love for God. Every other love is loss.
Holy Bishop Nikolai, Homilies
Ljubav koji Bog želi od nas
Bog želi, da čovek veruje u Njega više nego ma u koga i ma šta u svetu. Bog želi, da se čovek nada u Njega više nego ma u koga i ma u šta u svetu. Ne, nego još i više: Bog želi, da je čovek svom ljubavlju svojom vezan isključivo samo za Njega, pa tek zracima te ljubavi da se okolo vezuje za stvorenja Božja.
To se zove jedinstvo čoveka s Bogom. To se zove brak duše sa Hristom. Samo takva jedna tesna veza duše sa Hristom, kakvoj vezi najbolja je slika na zemlji brak, čini dušu bogatom i plodorodnom.
Samo plamena ljubav duše prema Bogu jeste zakoniti brak duše. Svaka druga ljubav, ne kroz Boga, mimo Boga, ili protiv Boga, jeste idolopoklonstvo. Tako ljubavlju prema telu čovek pravi od tela lažnoga Boga ili idola. A to znači; ljubav koja isključivo pripada Bogu čovek upućuje na drugu stranu, na nešto niže od Boga, na nešto nedostojnije ljubavi. U što god čovek veruje više nego u Boga; u što se god čovek nada više nego u Boga; što god čovek ljubi više nego Boga, – to zauzima mesto Boga i postaje idol za čoveka, lažni Bog za lažnu dušu. A svako idolopoklonstvo veliki proroci nazivaju preljubodejstvom i bludodejstvom (Jerem. gl. 3; Jezek. gl. 23. 37.).
Čoveka spasava ili gubi u ovome životu njegova ljubav. Ima samo jedna ljubav što spasava; to je ljubav prema Bogu. Svaka druga ljubav gubi.
Sveti Vladika Nikolaj, Omilije
In today’s Gospel reading, we reflect on something that is very common in our daily life – excuses. How many times have you been given an excuse? You are depending on an associate, and you receive an excuse. You ask your children to complete household chores and you receive an excuse. The delivery didn’t make it on time and you receive an excuse. Now, consider God’s commitment to you in that He gave His only begotten Son for your salvation. He provides no excuses but just asks that you follow Him as a good and faithful steward. Consider making your commitment to Stewardship in the upcoming year without any excuses. Remembering “That none of those men which were bidden shall taste of my supper.”
U današnjem Jevanđelju se mnogo spominje što mi svakodnevno koristimo u životu a to su – izgovori.Koliko puta vam je neko dao izgovor za nešto što je trebao da uradi? Vi zavisite od nekoga a on vam jednostvano da neki izgovor. Kada pitate decu da urade nešto u kući vi jednostavno dobijete izgovor. Dostava pošiljke nije došla na vreme i kompaija vas nazove i da vam neki izgovor. Sada se zapitajte o Božijem obećanju koje je dao nama kada je rekao da će da pošalje svog Jedinorodnog sina da postrada za naše spasenje. On se nikada nije pravdao nekim izgovorima nego od nas samo traži da ga pratimo kao dobri i verni Staratelji. Pokušajte da se obavežete u starateljstvu u novoj godini bez izgovora.
READINGS FOR Today 29th Sunday/Holy Prophet Nahum
Epistle: Col. 3:4-11; • Reader: Taylor Delmont • Gospel: St. Luke 14:16-24.
READINGS For Next Sunday: Epistle: Heb. 11:9-10, 17-23, 32-40; Gospel: St. Matt 1:1-25.
Remembered at the Litany for the Departed today are: YUBA BELICH (funeral tomorrow); LOUISE SKIRPAN; NICHOLAS KOKOT; AMELIA (MIKI) STIPANOVICH (requested by Kay Von Ins);; and all recent victims of war, natural disasters and epidemics. May their memory be eternal!
CHURCH CLEANING and decoration is scheduled for this coming Saturday at 10 AM. Please consider volunteering and participating in this good work.
CALENDARS Church wall calendars for 2015 are available today, courtesy of Colonial Chapels Funeral Home. Also, Diocesan pocket calendars for 2015 are available for purchase for $1.50. You will notice that photos of our St. Stephen Church are featured on both the inside and outside of the back cover.
LITTLE FALCONS The latest issue of Little Falcons children’s magazine is available for $2. Parents should purchase them for their children. The theme of the current issue is Family!
PLEASE NOTE: During the service of the Reading of the Hours, about 20 minutes before the beginning of the Divine Liturgy, there should be no talking in church.
THOSE WISHING TO RECEIVE HOLY COMMUNION during Advent should not wait until the last minute to come to Confession and Communion. Confessions are heard every Saturday after Vespers, and on Sunday mornings only by appointment. Call Fr. Rastko if you need to come during the week for Confession, and he will accommodate your schedule. Prepare yourself to receive Holy Communion as often as possible!
JANUARY 7 CHRISTMAS falls on a Wednesday. Parents, please inform your child’s public school that this is a religious holiday and your child will be out of school on Jan. 7th. It will not be counted as an illegal absence. Fr. Rastko can provide a written note for you to send to school Have your children come to Church on these important feast days on January 6th and 7th.
PLEASE KEEP THE FOLLOWING SOLDIERS IN YOUR PRAYERS: Thomas Vukcevic; Benjamin Pappas; Paul Campbell, Michael Rapasky; Brady Sexton, Jeffrey Izo, Michael Greenwood, James Koch, Adam Paich, John Stanz, Peter Mrvos, Michael Antecki, Matthew Ross, Steven Marrocco, Dane Gaynor. These soldiers are remembered at the Proskomedia (Service of Preparation) before every Divine Liturgy. If you have names to contribute to this list of servicemen serving overseas, please share them with Father.
COMMUNITY CALENDAR: SUNDAY, December 28 through SUNDAY, January 4, 2015.
We are in the course of the Christmas Fast. We fast every day this week.
Sunday Divine Liturgy and Church School 10 AM;
Monday Funeral of Yuba Belich 10 AM in church.
Saturday Church Cleaning & Decoration 10 AM PLEASE HELP; Vespers & Confession 6 PM
Sunday Divine Liturgy and Church School 10 AM; Serbian Father’s Day (Church School celebration) ;Antiphon rehearsal; Pick up of roasted pigs that were ordered.
January 6 Christmas Eve Vesperal Liturgy 10 AM; Badnjak burning & Vigil 9:30 PM
January 7 Christmas — Božić Liturgy 10 AM
January 8 Synaxis of Theotokos Liturgy 10 AM; Vespers 6 PM;
January 9 St. Stephen the First Martyr Liturgy 10 AM.
January 11 High School Movie outing
January 16 Church School Teachers’ Meeting, 6:00 PM
January 18 Sunday, Day before Feast of Theophany; Krstovdan; STRICT FAST DAY; Divine Liturgy 10 AM, Vespers & Great Blessing of Water 4 PM
January 19 Feast of Theophany; DIvine Liturgy & Great Blessing of Water, 10 AM. Blessing of homes begins.
January 20 Feast of St. John the Baptist, Divine Liturgy, 10 AM. All who celebrate their Slava on this day should bring their kolaches to Church to be blessed.
January 25 Joint celebration of our Church Slava St. Stephen and St. Sava, along with our traditional children’s program on that day.
January 27 Feast of St. Sava, Divine liturgy 10 AM.
NOTE: There is no fasting between Christmas and January 17. January 18, KRSTOVDAN, is a strict fast day in preparation for the Feast of Theophany
CHRIST IS IN OUR MIDST! — HE IS AND SHALL BE!
ХРИСТОС ЈЕ ПОСРЕД НАС! — И ЈЕСТЕ И БИЋЕ!
Thy Mother, O Lord, is a Cause for Wonder
By St. Ephraim the Syrian
Thy Mother is a cause for wonder: The Lord entered into her and became a servant; He Who is the Word entered into her, and became silent within her; the thunder entered her, and made no sound; there entered the Shepherd of all, and – in her – He became the Lamb – – – bleating as He comes forth. … The mighty One entered, and put on insecurity from her womb; the Provisioner of all entered, and experienced hunger; He Who gives drink to all entered, and experienced thirst. He Who clothes all came forth from her – – – naked and stripped! Praise to Thee to Whom all things are easy, for Thou art almighty.”
ST. PANTELEIMON COMMITTEE Pray for the health of all our ailing brothers and sisters.
Litany of Fervent Supplication: Metodije Damljanovic (PghChild.Hosp); Branka Sciuk (surgery Tues); Rick Zivic; David Preljeva; Martha Masich Olka; Martin Darmstedter; Mother Ana; Rebecca Todd; Alexandra Lapchuk (NJ); Boranka Kajtaz (Banjaluka); Andrew Wojtaszczyk; Sam Poznanovich; Mary Ann Tomich (PA); Dan & Marilyn Wilson; Lauren Tasseff; Leisa Wheeler; Fr. Joseph Cervo; Fr. Christopher Rocknage; Katie Repaski; Serafima Zdjelar;; Irene Fruhauf; Caroline Magaris; Paul Just; Kosa Opacic; Danica Opacic; Georgene Stevanoff (OLV); Christine Schulz; Mary Krestos; Joan Munich; Jovana Marjanovic; Angeline Pappas; Zora Palavestra; Stephanie Frauer; Marta Jaskula Mondich; Mildred Kokanovich; Brady Mclaughlin (FL); John Schmitz; Spencer Calos; Kristin Engelhart; James Kovacevic (PA); Scott & Maxine Smatlak (PA); Carly Serra; Conrad & Mary Jean Toepfer; Linda Moran (MN); Olga Tracy (TX); (Ca); Helen Biggs; Dragan Reznicak (W.VA); Martha Pavlakis; Stojan Kosovac (Hamilton); Anna Tonarely (FL); Milenko Zdjelar; Erika Tiem (Germany); Carl Heinz Blashke (Germany); Dusan Curuvija; Popadija Tamara Spasojevic (Chicago).
Proskomedia: Doreen Szczesniak Mirjana Pavlica; Steven Munich; James & Joann Raditic; Anna Evanoff Viruet; Svetozar Grgurevich; Tanja Trifkovic; Amanda Szczesniak; Milenko Zdjelar Sr.; Stevo Jojic; Wade (Vladimir) McFarland; Michalene Conti (FL); Annabelle Sauer; Melanie Rozwood; Milka Karlovic; Dan & Mary Stojanovich; Vladimir Popovic; Fr Laurence Lazar; Fr. John Nehrebecki; Fr Zvonimir Kotorcevic; Fr George Yatsko; Fr. Roman Braga (MI); Fr. Stephen Gousios; Paula Hughes; John Munich; Milan Pajic; Ljupka Palavestra; Kelly Pavich; Christine Kmitch (FL); Dan Bolam; Marcia Yunke; Katherine Lippard; Stephen Todorovich; Mile Zdjelar; Daniel Pavichevich (CA) Vladimir Jovic; Valu Tumpaloff; Nicole Dicioccio; Milka Bosilkovski; Nada Zdero; Nicholas Skirpan; Daniel Metz; Karl Stefanovich; Branko Guskic; Kathryn Frederick; ; Joseph York; Henry Darmstedter; Milan Jovic; Stevo Simic; Nancy Healy; George & Carol Kovacevic (NC); Jacqueline Fuellhart; Patricia Wilson; Maurie & James Jachimiak; Joann Panek; Vera & Mark Markoff; Darinka Nedelkov; Ramon Murphy; Matthew Barusic; Vukica Stojanovic; Milena Corhasanovic; Dale Hauser; Basil Korbut; John Stanz; Lydia Saleh; Vidosava Toskovic; Miss Mary Korach (FrBakerMan); Yuba Belich (OrchHts); Leiselotte Siljegovic; Dragana Salom (Il); Robert Setter; Chrisante Gassett; Zarka Popovic (CA); Robert Boller; Wayne & Thomas Jousma; Marge Spano, Anthony Dipiano; Jeanette Stanley; Mary Karolewski; Marija Trbojevic (Il); Gale Maus (FL); Iso Bjelanovic; Dusan Samardzija; Drazen Jokanovic; Mary Parillo (MA); Wyatt & Tony Lamb; Kathy Hanny (FL); Jane Glass (Hamburg); Anname Gracer; Daniel Dicioccio; Joanne Hamilton; Christine Madej (MA); Diane & Ronald Kukavica; Miljan Vanovac; Richard Wyse; Arlene Schmitz; Peter Mitich; Dusko Vanovac; Anastasia Hiles (PA); Cathy Smilinic; Olga Yandrich (Pgh); Stephen Engle; Dorothy Baron (PA); Danielle Williams; Patricia Maletich (OH); Richard Carney; Vlado, Jennifer, Peter Popovich; David Donald (PA); Ljubica Jevtic; Mary Beth Buntich (NM); Fr. Srboljub Bulich (Belgrade); Fr. Herman Schick; Fr. Miladin Garich; Fr. Michael Zaparyniuk (FL); Fr. Dennis Pavichevich; Joanne Markey; Joseph Rozwood Jr; Rose Gardina; Elaine Daminski; Paula Russian (FL); Gregory Smith (DC); Dan Neary; Margaret Nigrelli; Adam Brevner (Li); Richard Lockwood; Christine Marx (IL); Arthur Reis; Vera Sredanovic (CA); Ronald Bede (OH); Mary Lou Bremmer; Helen Tanner (FrBakerMan); And any ill or hospitalized parishioners we may have missed.